10 Ethical Tips from Hollywood Movies
From My Cousin Vinny to Lincoln Lawyer, from Atticus Finch to Lt. Kaffee, Hollywood lawyers have a lot to teach us about the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Using the Hollywood storylines as a starting point, we dissect the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and then apply them to real-life cases. As they would never disclaim in the movies, “all characters appearing in this class are NOT fictional! Any resemblance to real lawyers, living or dead, is purely intended!”
• Rule 1.1 – Competence
• Rule 1.2 – Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority between Client and Lawyer
• Rule 1.3 – Diligence
• Rule 1.4 – Communications
• Rule 1.5 – Fees
• Rule 1.6 – Confidentiality of Information
• Rule 1.7 – Conflict of interest: Current Clients
• Rule 1.8 – Conflicts of Interest
• Rule 1.15 – Safekeeping Property
• Rule 3.3 – Candor toward the Tribunal
• Rule 3.4 – Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel
• Rule 3.5 – Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal
• Rule 3.6 – Trial Publicity
• Rule 4.1 – Lying to Third Parties
• Rule 4.2 – Communications with person Represented by Counsel
• Rule 7.1 – Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services
• Rule 7.3 – Solicitation of Clients
• Rule 8.3 – Reporting Professional Misconduct
Joel is a seasoned constitutional attorney and regular speaker to attorneys and non-attorneys alike. He represented the town of Greece, New York in the landmark constitutional case Galloway v. Greece. Joel argued the case before the United States District Court for the Western District of New York and the Second Circuit, and he was part of the legal team presenting the case to the United States Supreme Court.
Oster regularly litigates First Amendment issues.
As lead counsel in Freedom from Religion Foundation v. Obama, Oster skillfully defended the constitutionality of the National Day of Prayer against an Establishment Clause challenge. Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, he successfully defended the right of an organization to have a pro-life specialty license plate in Missouri in Roach v. Stouffer.
In Wigg v. Sioux Falls School District, he successfully represented an elementary school teacher in obtaining equal access to school facilities. Oster has defended various churches based on the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, against discriminatory zoning codes and regulations, as well as individuals, corporations, and political committees against discriminatory and unconstitutional campaign finance regulations.
Oster earned his J.D. in 1997 from the University of Kansas School of Law. He is admitted to the bar in Kansas, Missouri, Florida, and numerous federal courts.